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Fire Engines Photos

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Merryweather Manual Pump 1879
Fire Engine Photos
No: 40248   Contributor:   Year: 2016   Manufacturer: Merryweather   Country: United Kingdom
Merryweather Manual Pump 1879

This fourth photo shows the side view. There are 28 coats of paint on this with the body alone taking about 3 hours for one hand applied coat of paint. All the signwork replicates the original perfectly. In use there is space for eleven firemen per side, when the hand rails are folded out. There are two pistons in the pump itself sealed with leather washers,there is no water tank as such but buckets of water can be tipped into the small hopper at the rear to prime the pump. Water can be drawn from a pond etc. using the rear coupling and discharged from either side. Eyewitness accounts from the time suggest much frenzied pumping could result in a trickle of water pressure if the leather washers had been allowed to dry out. Also on the fore carriage there are two corresponding holes in the wheel-plates. This is so a pin can be dropped in thereby locking the forecarriage in a 'straight ahead' position so the horses could not back up and jack-knife the engine at a fire. The two hand brakes work independently of each other allowing for tight manouvering on corners. As in the later Braidwood bodied appliances the firemen sit on the roof facing out. The black rod ahead of the nearside hose outlet locks the pump rails in place en route. With the closeness of the pump rails to the wheels during operation i envisage there were many scraped knuckles or worse. Note the ten spoke front wheels and twelve spoke rears for strength. The hook on the footboard is actually a bracket for the footboard lamp to light the harness.It has the Merryweather plaque under the footboard. The engine was used in a Mayoral parade in Harmondsworth in the mid 1990s and i have a photo of the engine taken in 1880 which i will put on soon.
Picture added on 27 October 2016 at 10:11
add commentComments:
I should add that the corresponding holes in the top and bottom wheel plates, in which the locking pin is placed, are also to keep the hand bars paralell to the wheels as should the front wheels and fore carriage be turned slightly this would stop the pumping operation.

Added by Paul Bundy on 27 October 2016.
Very interesting pictures and info Paul - according to Roy Rice's "A Rough Guide to the Whereabouts of Manual Fire Engines" this 22-man Merryweather is shown kept at Barwick Nursery in Hillingdon. Is that still the situation but, if not, please would you advise where it is now so that I can update the guide for Roy. Thank-you.

Added by Simon Rowley on 09 February 2019.
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